• Sopcast has never looked so good
  • Sopcast has never looked so good
    Written by battye
    Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:20 pm
     


    Louisiana based Network Foundation Technologies is trying to revolutionise the way video is streamed over the internet by using P2P technology, which reduces bandwidth. It doesn't sound like such a bad idea, they say users can download a video player and then watch content. But each player is "custom-built for each content owner", a situation which could see users having to download many different players. Of course, it is just speculation at the moment, but to me it sounds like a more complicated version of Sopcast.

    Sopcast is a sophisticated and easy way to distribute visual media - much of which is not bound by copyright - over the internet. The software, which like many "P2PTV" softwares, was made in China but has quickly spread to the rest of the world. Content providers now have made Sopcast their preferred medium to distribute video content over the traditional Windows Media Player client. The reasoning behind this is simple, Sopcast uses a P2P concept - much like BitTorrent - where the bandwidth is shared. Effectively, the more people that watch a Sopcast stream the faster it becomes for users as more bandwidth is available.

    There are alternative softwares, but Sopcast seems to be the favourite among providers and users. Sopcast has created a global network, mainly consisting of sport and movies, which people can connect to at any time.

    To use a more recent example of just how useful and necessary programs like Sopcast is, people in Africa have been able to watch live sport from Pakistan! The content is not available for purchase via satellite TV in Africa, there is no other way sports fans can see the event - the internet is the last resort. Whether television broadcasters have a problem with this form of exposure is unknown - the content still retains all advertisements, it is a carbon copy of what is going to air on TV. One would think that reaching a larger audience would be encouraged, and as individuals are behind it the TV broadcasters don't even have to invest resources into making it work.

    We can only hope Network Foundation Technologies build on the great work done by the people behind Sopcast and co. and make live video content even more widely available. If the TV broadcasters can get behind initiatives like this and support the work, we may see a day when we can easily and legally view every television station in the world from the comfort of our own homes - free.
     
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